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Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service

The Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service is presented annually to an AAMC-member medical school or teaching hospital with a long-standing, major institutional commitment to partnering with the community it serves to identify and address community needs. The award highlights community service and engagement as important elements of the academic mission and singles out institutions that can serve as examples of social responsiveness on the part of the academic medical community. This commitment should be demonstrated through the development, implementation, and evaluation of exceptional educational, clinical, and research programs that go well beyond the traditional service role of academic medicine and reach communities whose needs are not being met by the health system. 

The award was renamed in 2007 to honor Spencer "Spike" Foreman, MD, who established the award in 1993 while serving as chair of the AAMC.

The awardee receives a commemorative crystal piece honoring the institution’s extraordinary social commitment.

Selection Criteria

Nominees will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Strength, breadth, and coordination of institutional support (including engagement of individuals across the institution) for community engagement and partnership across the service, research, education, and clinical missions
  • Evidence that the institution is maximizing its potential in community service and engagement
  • Use of assessment and evaluation data that demonstrates significant benefits to the institution, community, and other stakeholders (e.g. learners, scientists, patients, etc.)
  • Programs and services developed in response to health and social needs prioritized by community members
  • Evidence of bidirectional, community partnerships and community co-developed / co-led interventions
  • Innovativeness of community-based programs and initiatives

The award recipient must have a broad-based, continuing commitment to community service and partnership as reflected in a variety of programs and initiatives.  The recipient should provide demonstrated evidence that (a) its programs and initiatives are responsive to community-identified health and social needs, (b) developed via bidirectional collaborations with the communities served, and (c) evaluated in order to assess outcomes for local populations and individuals, both internal and external to the AAMC-member institution.

The award does not honor any one specialized service program, individual, or department but rather recognizes instances in which a broad-based collaboration has been developed between the nominee and the community served. The nomination must address the institution’s broad community engagement portfolio.

Guidelines for Entry

AAMC-member medical schools and teaching hospitals are eligible to apply if their institution has not received the award in the past 10 years. Institutions selected as finalists can reapply in two years.

The nomination package must include:

  • A cover letter signed by the medical school dean or hospital CEO making the nomination
  • A narrative description using the provided template  (not to exceed six pages) of the nominee’s community programs, including:

    • The history of the institution's commitment
    • Descriptions of the institution’s community service programs and their impact on the institution and the community
    • A description of the participation of faculty and students
    • A description of how the activities are funded
  • Two letters from external partners, preferably community leaders

The nomination package may not exceed 10 pages.

Completed nomination package should be emailed in a single PDF file to Sandra Gordon at by April 6, 2018. Late nominations will not be considered.

Informational Webinar for Prospective Applicants: Institutions who are interested in submitting a nomination for the Spencer Foreman Award are encouraged to watch an informational webinar recorded on Jan. 18, 2018.

Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service Information Webinar

The Foreman Award Review Committee will review nominations and select three finalists for site visits during the summer. The winner of the award will be notified by Aug. 1, 2018.  The winner and finalists will be honored at Learn Serve Lead 2018 in Austin, Texas.

Please address all questions to:

Sandra Gordon
Association of American Medical Colleges
655 K Street, NW, Suite 100
Washington, DC 20001-2339